“The Curse Of Kataluna: Special Edition” edited by Nicholas ‘Something’ Ball
The original series of SWAT Kats ran for an estimated 23 episodes and two seasons before it was summarily plucked from the airwaves. Up until this date, it was believed that, with the exception of the ‘questionable’ SKIQ episode (as voice actor Charlie Adler was believed to have commented, though this may be that Barry Gordon’s talents were used for narration, and thus recieved more monetary reward), no other completed SWAT Kats episodes existed. And this belief was true. There were no others. It was axed, remember? However, several of the ideas were still works in progress, and were worked on up to, and in some cases, even past the moment of the show’s closure.
The other day, in the post, I recieved a package. It was dusty, old, debilatated and torn. Unthinkingly, I tossed it onto my bed without a second’s thought as to it’s contents. Later on, I would realise the foolishness that lay in this, and ultimately all, folly. For it was a bomb. It destroyed half my room, and I had to sleep in a dumpster. At least I had a good reason this time. In the dumpster I found a set of papers. The rest is history..
Oh, wait, no it’s not, I didn’t tell you what they were. Sorry, I thought I was meant to do the little significant sign off then. Well, it turned out to be a SWAT Kats’ script that was completed and never aired. So I have it. And I figured to share it. Following is the script in all it’s entirety, along with comments by Glenn Leopold, whose job back at the SWAT Kats offices was to wear a skin-tight cat costume and walk around inspiring others to work more creatively and diligently at their various SK jobs. If they didn’t, he slowly removed it whilst humming ‘Ride Of the Valkyries’. Strange, but true.
ON THE CURSE OF KATALUNA – COMMENTS BY GLENN LEOPOLD
“…It was a succubus story, about a woman that Commander Feral really had a thing for, and she was really draining the life out of him. He was getting older and older through the show, until he was practically a mummy at the end. [Kataluna] drained his energy and became this big, huge harpy, and she had other harpy things that helped, her, and they were terrorizing the city.” The SWAT Kats became involved when a justifiably concerned Felina Feral called on them to help save her uncle. Kataluna was voiced by Nancy Linari, who had played Morticia on H-B’s 1992-94 _Addams Family_ series. “‘Kataluna’ was a real strong episode with another terrific female villain,” Falk says. “It used Commander Feral more than any of the other shows that used him — it was really Feral’s episode.” Not surprisingly, Dr. Sinian also appears; after helping the SWAT Kats defeat the Pastmaster and the Red Lynx, she’s an old hand at handling supernatural villains by now” –Glenn Leopold, writer.
THE CURSE OF KATALUNA – INTERVIEW WITH LANCE FALK 14/7/98
Nick: (sitting on couch)
Lance: (walks in) Sorry to keep you waiting, had an old friend on the phone.
Nick: Oh, no, that’s perfectly fine. I was just getting my thoughts together and everything…
Lance: So, you came all the way from Sydney, Australia for this, right?
Nick: (blinks) Well, technically, I suppose..
Lance: (stands and walks out door) Good, please follow me.
Nick: (looks surprised and follows him out, they both emerge in Lance’s back garden)
Lance: Here we go. Now, before you ask me any SWAT Kats questions, I’ve just got to take care of something.
Lance: Please take your clothes off.
Nick: ..excuse me?
Lance: Please disrobe. Remove your clothes, you know..
Nick: Yes, I *know*, but I’m not quite sure I..
Lance: Look, do you want this interview or not?
Nick: Okay, okay, I’ll..um…disrobe, then. (starts to undress, Lance watches unconcerned and uninterested)
Lance: The underpants too.
Lance: The underpants AS WELL.
Nick: (silently obliges, huddles into himself as much as possibly)
Lance: Now, put your wrists together, put your ankles together, and put your wrists next to your ankles.
(short pause, Nick slowly obliges, looking slighty uncomfortable)
Lance: (ties short length of rope around them, trussing Nick up and tying that rope to a small metal pole stuck in the grass. A metal collar that dangles from a short chain is fastened around Nick’s throat by Lance, making it now impossible for Nick to stand to full length, doubled over as he is) Good..now I shall whip you.
Lance: (produces short length of hickory stick) Say meh.
Nick: Uh, could we just wait up a second..
Lance: (with more conviction) Say ‘meh’.
(Lance whips him, Nick yells in pain)
Lance: No. Say ‘meh’.
Nick: I DID say meh.
Lance: Let’s try again. (whips)
Lance: You’re doing it wrong. You’re supposed to say ‘meh’ after I whip you.
Nick: (embarrassed) You what?
Lance: (whips) Say it!
Lance: You’re not even saying it right. You go..’meeeeh’, like a goat. Make a goat noise.
Lance: That’s a sheep sound.
Nick: Sorry, I was caught up in the spirit. We don’t really have goats back in Australia.
Nick: Ow! I mean..meeeh! Can I ask you the questions now and go home?
Lance: No. I don’t unchain you until you make the right sound. You have to make the RIGHT sound, y’know, or it’s just not worth it.
Nick: ..what sort of sound was it, again?
Lance: Uh, ‘meeh’, like a goat says. (whips)
Lance: There we go, now we’re getting somewhere. But you know what I’d really like?
Nick: I have a vague inclination, now…
Lance: Could you sort of go ‘meeeeEEeeh’ as I whip you? Like, you know, you’re going ‘meeeh’ but the raise in pitch just after I hit you..
Nick: Like a startled sheep, you mean?
Lance: Goat. It’s a goat.
Lance: Okay, let’s try this again. (whips)
Lance: Could use some work, but we’re getting there…(whips)
Lance: Ooh, close but not that bit at the end..(whips)
Lance: Perfect, let’s go for a couple more of those..(whips)
Lance: One more. (whips)
Lance: (steps back, panting) Hoo boy, that worked out well.
Nick: Uh..hu…do I ask you the questions now?
Lance: (distracted) What? Oh, sure. Ask away.
Nick: Um..on reviewing the script of ‘The Curse Of Katalina’, severally um..apparent sexist sort of viewpoints seem to vaguely emerge..which could have been part of the reason for the axing of SWAT Kats. Uh..Mr Falk, was the script intentionally written with such issues in it, or was it unintentionally confrontational?
Lance: …I didn’t write that episode, Glenn Leopold did. Only he’d know that.
Nick: I know.
Lance: Then why did you come here to interview *me*, if you knew only HE knew the answers?
Nick: …your whipping technique is better.
THE CURSE OF KATALUNA – SURVIVING SCRIPT AND NOTES
Notes: All phrases written in capitals are to have extra emphasis placed on them by the voice actors. They are not to be shouted or said louder than normal conversation could expect.
(Fade in on the garage, Jake and Chance are lifting weights and using their standard gym equiptment as seen in ‘The Ghost Pilot’)
Jake: (struggling with weight to lift)
Chance: Aw, c’mon Jake, it’s not *that* heavy, buddy.
Jake: (straining sound continues)
Chance: *I* could lift it..then again, I’m so much more stronger than you are (laughs, Chance is teasing Jake)
Jake: (grits teeth in determination and lifts weight, with difficulty)
Chance: Way to go, bud. Now let’s towel off and you can make lunch.
Jake: (sets weight down) Hey hey, wait up a minute. I may be WEAK and SUBSERVIANT, but there’s no way to treat me like a girl, just because I’m WEAK and SUBSERVIANT like ALL females.
Chance: You’re right, Jake, ALL FEMALES ARE WEAK AND SUBSERVIANT.
Jake: So I’m a guy, and A NATURAL DOMINEER OF ALL WOMEN.
Chance: Yes, ALL MALES ARE DOMINANT. ALL FEMALES ARE SUBSERVIVE. SUBVERSIEVE SUBVERTED. (note: find correct word)
Jake: So, what’s the deal with ordering me to the kitchen like ANY WOMEN’S COMMON DUTY, APART FROM BEING THE MAN’S WILLING SEX SLAVE IN THE BEDROOM.
Chance: ALL WOMEN ARE WEAK.
Jake: Oh, well that makes perfect sense. In that case, two sandwiches and milk coming up.
Scene 2 – Enforcer Headquarters
Commander Feral sits in his office, Felina is standing in front of his desk.
Commander: Felina, I am a man and you are a woman. I am of higher rank of than you in the Enforcers. THEREFORE ALL MEN ARE BETTER THAN WOMEN.
Felina: I can’t believe this! I hate all men! I unjustly hate all men! My individuality of thought is a threat to society! I demand that all women’s right to vote is withdrawn, and that all women classified as ‘dangerous’ by all all-male political committee and militia be put into prison! We abuse civil liberties and justice, and must be made to be subservient and man’s natural servant again!
Commander: Hmm..that’s some pretty smart thinking, Felina.
Felina: A man thought it up and wrote it down for me.
Commander: I’m surprised.
Felina: You’re surprised that some men are foolhardy enough to trust us TRAITOROUS FEMALES with the sacred skill of speech?
Commander: That, and the fact you’re able to read.
(They both laugh)
Commander: Now go put on your swimming costume.
Scene 3 – Mayor Manx’s Office
Mayor Manx sits in his office, Callie is standing at his desk.
Mayor: There, I’ve finished doing all of the hard work. (shuffles papers)
Callie: Please, Mayor, don’t show that stuff to me. I’d probably get so confused with all those words, my head would explode! (she laughs for 8 seconds)
Mayor: Ahaha, very good Callie.
Callie: A man thought it up and wrote it down for me.
Scene 4 – A closeup of him shuffling papers, a paperclip falls off a set of papers and lands on the ground.
Scene 5 – Manx office shot again
Mayor: (takes large bomb with wires off the ground and wiresnips) Callie, could you please pick that paper clip up for me, whilst I defuse this bomb and save the entire city?
Callie: Wwwwork? You..wwwant me to wwwork?
Mayor: Yes, Callie, please, I have eight seconds before-
Callie: Sexual harrassment! I’m taking advantage of the completely biased and irregular discrimination policy that most business places have in operation now days, Mayor Manx! I’m going to sue you for millions of dollars! (note: check if Our Beloved President is in an intern sex scandal at time of airing)
Mayor: Please, Callie, I only want what’s best for you, so I shall do all the good that every person on this planet is worth, and treat your fairly.
Callie: I don’t want fairness! I want power! You’re so much better than me in any way, Mayor Manx, and I’m going to use my DECEITFUL WAYS to destroy the balance of nature!
(she storms off, Mayor cuts the red wire and the bomb stops)
Mayor: (sigh of relief) Thank God that this bomb is stopped. Though it is a pity that the EVER PRESENT TIME BOMB OF FEMINISM still threatens our DIGNIFIED AND CIVILISED WAY OF LIFE.
Scene 6 – Mac and Molly are sitting in a cafe, talking.
Mac: So I says to him, hand over the dough, and he says, so here’s the dough already, and I’m not the pizzaman! (laughs, Molly looks confused)
Molly: My processing drive’s speed isn’t as fast as yours, Mac, I guess IT’S TRUE THAT ALL WOMEN ARE SLOWER THAN MEN.
Mac: Now Molly, you’re forgetting one thing. You’re a robot.
Molly: I’m a machine! ALL WOMEN ARE AND SHOULD BE TREATED LIKE MACHINES.
Mac: Yeah, a dishwasher! Ahahahaaaa! (laughing, Molly looks confused) Nevermind, I’ll write it down for you, later.
Scene 7 – Commander Feral’s office
A mini tornado appears and Kataluna materialises.
Kataluna: I’m a power craving female!
Commander: Blue blazes! How did you get here?
Kataluna: The Pastmaster showed me a trick or two about portal making…
Commander: He did?
Kataluna: Well, he wrote something down for me. (takes out scrap of papyrus)
Commander: Back, you! You foul demoness! You FOUL FEMALE DEMONESS! YOU FOUL FEMALE POWERCRAVING DEMONESS WHO MUST BE STOPPED!
Kataluna: I wish to take control over you Commander Feral, but I don’t know how.
Dr Abi Sinian: (bursts into room) This spell book should help!
Razor: (bursts in as well) TREACEROUS FEMALES!
Kataluna: (reading spell book with difficulty) Keer..ker…kee…
Commander: Pretend it’s a cook book.
Kataluna: Okay! Kereshen a guibo de..ow! (drops spell book) I broke a nail!
Callie: (bursts into room, as well as Molly Metallikat and Turmoil) My hair’s all mussed up!
Turmoil: I vant to go shoppink!
Abi: Does my figure look good in these clothes?
Molly: I’m being irrational for no good reason!
T-Bone: (standing beside Razor) It’s a conspiracy of women!
Commander: Alright you, you’re all under arrest.
Felina: (walks in, pointing blaster) Not so fast…
Felina: I was never as good as you, Uncle…or you, SWAT Kats (she temporarily points blaster at them)..and that’s all genetic. I wish my 26th chromosome could have gotten a Y gene instead of the X, but now I’m a preverd and I’m going to undermine all of society!
T-Bone: Look, a sale on dishwashing towels! (points behind her)
Felina: Where? (turns head)
T-Bone and Razor fire nets over her, and then all the others. They scream in some girly way and fall over.
Razor: Lock ’em up, Commander.
Commander: You SWAT Kats did a good job today, I’m proud of you. But unfortunately, our modern city law has been specifically designed to let ALL GUILTY FEMALE PERPETRATORS OFF THE HOOK…
Mayor Manx: (walks into room, waving paperwork) Don’t worry, Commander, I think I’ve got something to take care of that…(fade)
Scene 8 – Field, all females are tied to poles stuck in the ground, with sticks gathered around the base of the poles. They all wear black pointy hats.
Commander: (walks on) That’s the last of them.
Razor: Mayor, this REVERTING TO TRADITIONALIST WITCHBURNING PRACTISES was a fantastic idea of yours! T-Bone: (lights match and tosses it onto Miss Briggs’ firewood) And women can finally be of a good use to society! (laughs)
Mayor: (startled) Wwwwwwhat?
T-Bone: (takes out a marshmallow on a stick and holds it close to burning Miss Briggs’s burning body. Character note: Briggs is probably wriggling and screaming) Look, Mayor, the best toasted marshmallow I’ve had in years.
(They all laugh, fade to credits and SK music)
THE CURSE OF KATALUNA – THE AFTERMATH
Nick: (walks into frame) Well, I sent my edited special ‘The Curse Of Kataluna’ in to the archive, but they said they needed a ‘special consultation’, and an appearance before a guest committee of fellow writers, so here we are.
(knocks on door, it opens and we see a long table with several fellow writers sitting at it. I’m not going to ask any of thier permission to use thier names and likenesses here, because, let’s face it, that’s just the way I work. I’m not naming all the writers at the table, they’ll pop up as we go along.)
DJ: Come in, we’ve been waiting.
Nick: Uh..wow. (takes seat in center)
DJ: Nick, I’ll be harsh. It’s about your latest. This so-called ‘The Curse Of Kataluna Special Edit’ or Special Edition or whatever it was you named it. We’ve got a few problems.
Nick: Such as?
DJ: For starters, none of it’s real. No bomb, no interview with Lance Falk..
Nick: Well, I *did* sleep in a dumpster.
Klawz: (surprised) Is that true?
Nick: (pauses, then hangs head) …no.
DJ: ..Anyway, you make libellious slander concerning one worker, namely Glenn Leopold, and then you go on to immediately create homoerotic situations between yourself and one Mister Lance Falk.
Nick: There wasn’t very much sexual stuff, you know..
DJ: You had him strip you naked, truss you up, chain you to a post and then whip you whilst you did barnyard animal impersonations.
Strike: (quietly) Baaa..
Nick: (looks up quickly in surprise and blushes at sound)
Nick: It was a joke. That’s how my sense of humour works.
Sarah Combs: I’m frightened of you.
Sarah Combs: You need a, a lobotomy. That stuff just isn’t funny. It’s scary that you can think like that…it’s scary that you DO think like that.
Nick: I don’t think like that…
Strike: So, this ‘special edit’ version of ‘The Curse Of Kataluna’, which by the way is a copyright’ed work of Hanna-Barbera (lawyers, ahoy), wasn’t meant to be funny?
Nick: Uh…yes. No. It was irony. I was examining social standards, that’s all.
Amanda Taylor: I am not very pleased. Your anger is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. You will probably go to Hell.
Nick: Uh..now *I* am scared. I really am, not particularly of you Miss Taylor, but I think you’re all taking this a little too seriously.
Woodward: Well, it basically shows us that you’re not willing to take this social standard seriously, and consider it with correct thinking.
Nick: (holds up hand puppet, talking over end of her sentence) Everyone say hello to Mr Domestic Violence!
(everyone else sighs)
DJ: Think we’re getting through?
Klawz: I don’t think we could BLAST our way through…and I’m talking some major C-4 there.
Callie: Look, Nicholas, the thing we’re worried about is that you’re JOKING about the concept that some of the messages in your story are conveyed to reality, but the scary thing is, that kind of thing IS going on, and such hate IS being spread, and to tell the honest to God truth, we don’t think you’re helping the side of good as efficiently as you could…
Nick: ..stuff like that happens?
Felina: More than you’d imagine. It doesn’t stop there. People cutting in front of lines, being nasty on buses, we’d just like you to put your skills towards fighting that sort of filth, because we know you’re a good person.
Nick: …heey, wait up. You’re fictional!
Felina: Hey, it’s your fantasy.
Nick: You mean, none of this is real?
DJ: Nup. All figments of your diseased imagination.
Nick: Are not.
DJ: Look at the way we’re all talking to you. Do you think any of us would say that in REAL life? Look at how serious I’m being for crying out loud..
Nick: ..then why is everything coming down on me?
Klawz: You hate yourself.
Nick: I do not. And this is a good fantasy. Check this out. Strike, I want to have sex. Again.
(Strike smiles and leans over towards him. She reaches under the table and Nick starts to slowly relax and grin until we hear a loud SNAP! Nick leans heavily forwards gasping whilst Strike retakes her seat)
Woodward: I hope that was his other wrist I heard break.
Klawz: I hope it wasn’t.
Felina: See, Nick? The corny jokes? The people acting like they never do? The unrealistic concept that you would..uh..well, anyway, this is your OWN chaos. None of it’s real.
Nick: You’re saying I dealt this mess. You’re crazy.
Felina: Crazy me says you’re speaking to something you know is a fictional character, and that the mind-numbingly paralysing pain of 8 seconds ago has completely disappeared. Get THAT for crazy.
Nick: I hate my brain.
Handpuppet (via Nick’s higher voice): And it hates you.
Nick: I’m going to stab myself in the brain with an icepick when I wake up.
Handpuppet: Careful you don’t miss, it’s an awfull small target! Hahahaha!
Nick: Hey, stop laughing!
Nick: (takes out handgun in other hand, points at puppet) I said, stop laughing…
(others stand up and start to walk out door, chatting to each other)
DJ: I’m getting out of here.
Sarah Combs: This is going to be ugly. Or rather, uglier.
Amanda Taylor: I’m going to go play Nintendo.
Felina: I wonder if we’re meant to be offended by the way he can just create us to fulfil any whim or desire of his, without consent?
Callie: At least we’re not the real people offended by this story. At least we’re fictional.
Klawz: I don’t have a reason to leave, but I’m not staying.
Strike: The sad thing is, he does it to himself…
(As they leave, we follow them. A gunshot is heard, followed by a tormented scream)
(setting, a bedroom in Australia. A laptop rests on the bed and Nick sits at it)
Nick: (ttyping the last of a few descriptive sentences before he sends the final story off to DJ. Decides against fixiong up the typos like that last one, and concentrates on the ending. He rubs his sore back with one hand, and notices a bandage on his puppet hand, which has been recently stained with blood it seems. Handpuppet appears on other hand, holding a huge carving knife with difficulty)
Handpuppet: Is it time for the final cut? (draws knife back)
(pass out and fade to black. For real, this time. I hate fiction.)
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